ROYAL OAK — With COVID cases on the rise again, Beaumont’s chief medical officer is saying this fourth surge is taking on a different shape.
Previous COVID surges in 2020 and early 2021 saw rapid increases in cases and then climbs in hospitalizations, followed by rapid declines in both cases and hospitalizations. But this increase is shaping up to be more of a “marathon” according to Beaumont’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nicholas Gilpin.
“For the last couple months, starting in September, we were experiencing a slow burn with a shallow slope of increases in COVID patients in hospitals,” he said. “In the last week, we’ve seen a sharp increase to where we currently are.”
Currently, the state is at a six-month high among hospitalizations, with cases having climbed 30 percent in the last week, following a gradual months-long increase in cases.
The state’s vaccination rate sits at 54.4 percent.
Humidity and temperature are making it more conducive for the virus to spread as residents congregate indoors ahead of the fall and winter months.
About 65 to 70 percent of hospitalized patients in Beaumont are unvaccinated, but Gilpin said there’s usually an explanation as to why the remaining 30 percent who are vaccinated are hospitalized.
“Typically the person is chronically ill, so the vaccine may not be as effective, or the people who got vaccinated early on and may be experiencing waning immunity,” he said. “Which is why the FDA and CDC recommended some groups get a booster dose.”